International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The crisis left behind in Iraq

When the United States completed its troop withdrawal from Iraq last week it left behind a major crisis in the region—some three million displaced Iraqis and tens of thousands of others in danger because they worked for the U.S. military.

“The United States may be ending its military mission in Iraq, but it still has a responsibility to aid Iraqis uprooted by the war it started and to protect the most vulnerable, especially those who put their lives in jeopardy to help America,” said International Rescue Committee vice president Bob Carey in a statement released by the IRC. 
 
Critical U.S. programs that give sanctuary to these and other Iraqis are mired in bureaucratic delays, Carey said.  Meanwhile, millions of internally displaced Iraqis languish in urban slums and squatter settlements, growing increasingly destitute.  “The Iraqi government has made great strides in developing a strategy to address the needs of the displaced and should bring its own resources to bear, but it will require ongoing and intensive support” from the international community, said  Mike Young, who oversees the IRC’s relief programs in the Middle East and Asia.
 
As part of its statement the IRC urged the U.S., Iraq, and donor countries to take eight concrete steps that would ease the displacement crisis.


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